We work in British Columbia and across Canada to improve the medical and social realities of women living with HIV and hepatitis C.
We formed in 1991 and have grown to be the national voice on Intervention and knowledge translation services for women and the communities that support them. From the start, infected and affected women have worked together. As the leading HIV+ women explained at the time, a partnership of infected and affected women meant women with health challenges could focus their energy on staying well and the affected women could put energy into program delivery. The face of HIV is changing, and we also must adapt with the changing times. We now recognize that women living with HIV are healthier, living longer and are able to contribute to programming and to the overall direction of the organization.
What helps positive women?
Meeting other women with HIV: “This is the unique connection, but we also talk about lots of other things like challenges of living with a chronic illness.”
Receiving non-judgmental support: “I’ve always been able to come here, whether I’m strong or not, healthy or not. Nobody looks at you any differently.”
Participating in programs that enhance well-being: “At events everyone can enjoy life instead of looking at [HIV] like a death sentence.”
Because HIV is still so hidden and stigmatized, many women don't talk about it in their everyday lives. At PWN you can just be HIV+ among other women and it's no big deal, nothing to hide, nothing to be ashamed of.
How We Work
The lived experiences of women guide our work, including intervention services, health promotion, and resources. We welcome women to a non-judgmental, confidential, and respectful environment. A wide range of women access our services, which are offered in person, over the phone, and via multiple websites and social networking. We are trans-inclusive and child-friendly.
Our resources are used across the country, and we’ve been advised by our national distributor that the Pocket Guide for Women Living with HIV is the most requested women’s HIV resource in Canada.
- Responding to the needs of individual women through women-specific services.
- Working together as a community of women infected and affected by HIV and /or hepatitis C.
- Recognizing the impact of colonization on the history and experiences of Indigenous women.
- Applying the principles of GIPA and MIWA– Greater Involvement of People with AIDS and Meaningful Involvement of Women with AIDS.
- Working together across sectors on shared issues and goals.
- 2016- AccolAIDS Award to Sangam, educator and former support worker
- 2014- AccolAIDS Award to Marcie Summers, our former Executive Director.
- 2011- Marcie Summers Nominated as one of YWCA’s Women of Distinction.
- 2007- YouthCO named us an Outstanding Community Partner .
- 2007- AccolAIDS Award for Innovative Programs and Service Delivery.